Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust: A Mother-Daughter Journey to Reclaim the Past

Fern Schumer Chapman

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Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust: A Mother-Daughter Journey to Reclaim the Past

Motherland Beyond the Holocaust A Mother Daughter Journey to Reclaim the Past One woman s moving story of her journey with her mother to find their past and the tragedy that haunts it In Edith Westerfeld s parents before being killed by the Nazis sent her from Germany to

  • Title: Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust: A Mother-Daughter Journey to Reclaim the Past
  • Author: Fern Schumer Chapman
  • ISBN: 9780140286236
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Paperback
  • One woman s moving story of her journey with her mother to find their past and the tragedy that haunts it In 1937, Edith Westerfeld s parents before being killed by the Nazis sent her from Germany to live with relatives in America Fifty four years later, Edith decided that it was time to, with her grown daughter Fern, revisit the town she had left so many years before.One woman s moving story of her journey with her mother to find their past and the tragedy that haunts it In 1937, Edith Westerfeld s parents before being killed by the Nazis sent her from Germany to live with relatives in America Fifty four years later, Edith decided that it was time to, with her grown daughter Fern, revisit the town she had left so many years before For Edith the trip was a chance to reconnect and reconcile with her past for Fern it was a chance to learn what lay behind her mother s silent grief On their journey, Fern and her mother shared many extraordinary encounters with the townspeople and importantly with one another, closing the divide that had long stood between them.

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      341 Fern Schumer Chapman
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      Posted by:Fern Schumer Chapman
      Published :2019-02-04T05:59:49+00:00

    One thought on “Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust: A Mother-Daughter Journey to Reclaim the Past

    1. Lauren on said:

      I don't know how to say this as enthusiastically as I'd like to without it sounding false, but this is one of the best books I've ever read - ever. The story unravels itself swiftly as you come to understand what a monumental undertaking Fern is going through with her mother. For most of us, it's hard to fathom what 50 years of absence can feel like when you've been exiled and detached from your own home, your own identity, but here Mrs. Schumer Chapman attempts to help us understand through her [...]

    2. Donna on said:

      Motherland is a memoir of Edith Schumer who had returned to her hometown of Stockstadt am Rhein in Germany. As a child, she was sent to America by her parents to live with relatives in Chicago so that she would not have to experience Hitler's rage against the Jews. Edith had shut away her memories of the past and now it was time to face up to the reality of the past. The truth was found in a weed covered cemetery, one man's museum of things from the past, and an awkward class reunion of classmat [...]

    3. Kelsey Jo on said:

      This was required reading for a Holocaust literature course I took in college. The author came and spoke at the school. My copy is autographed. The journey her and her mother took is both heartbreaking and hopeful. While some have criticized the way Chapman treated her mother, I applaud her for remaining true to their story.

    4. Linda Marie Marsh on said:

      4.5*I loved reading Motherland, but must admit i am a bit prejudiced when it comes to this author, having read her other books. The title takes on new meaning when it comes to the mother and daughter, Edith and Fern. Motherland meaning Germany. motherland meaning the turf surrounding and shared with ones mom, both physical and emotional. Edith was sent to the U.S. during the Holocaust for safety, and grew up with questions and angst. HER daughter grew up with a mother who kept herself and her pa [...]

    5. Kate on said:

      A very fine memoir of Schumer Chapman's trip to Germany with her mother, who fled her small town in 1938 and travelled to America as part of the One Thousand Children saved by church groups in the 1930s and 40s. The story takes you through both the physical trip locating a small town and places that have changed, and the emotional journey of understanding how her mother ended up the person she is. The writing is profound but not difficult - the author's journalism background shows in the clarity [...]

    6. Paula Howard on said:

      Motherland is one of those books that once you start ityou can't stop until it is finished. Edith suffers for survivors guilt. She was sent to Chicago to live with cousins and Hitler's rise to power increases. She tries so hard to not appear German but never feels like she fits in here. She doesn't really know what happened to her family. Edith can't share here heritage, experience or what is bothering her with her daughter Fern.Out of the blue, Edith decides that it is time for her and Fern to [...]

    7. Mlg on said:

      Virginia Woolf once said "Things we have felt with great intensity, have an existence independent of our minds." So it is with Edith, the mother in this story who was sent to Chicago as a child to escape the holocaust. Never discussing the circumstances with her daughter, the two return to Germany after the war to repair old wounds. Not only has Edith been unable to move forward, but the reactions of the German townspeople, many who persecuted her family are also stuck in time. This is a great a [...]

    8. Elizabeth on said:

      I read a lot of books on WWII, the Holocaust, and the Resistance. This is probably the best non-fiction book on the Holocaust I've read. A mother and her adult daughter return to Germany to visit the town where the mother lived until she was 12. The mother escaped the Holocaust because her parents sent her to the US to live with relatives. It is a very poignant story of the mother coming to terms with her own guilt at being a survivor, and the daughter coming to understand why her mother was the [...]

    9. Jean on said:

      This was a very different revelation about WWII and Hitler. So many people were so adversely affected by the Holocaust. Not only were the Jews so terribly stricken, but the Germans suffered too. It turned neighbor against neighbor. Some were left with profound guilt, others had hatred that never went away. Childhoods were lost and families were torn. In spite of that, the world heals. Sometimes it takes a couple of generations. People can repair their lives and some will move on. It left one hop [...]

    10. Dennis on said:

      Okay, I admit, I am usually too chicken to read or watch a film about the atrocities of the Holocaust. It leaves me with an insufferable sense of doom. But Fern Schumer takes us on a journey from a totally different perspective, that of a young Jewish girl in a small German town, her mother. This true story written so beautifuly recounts her mother's journey to reclaim her childhood which along the way leads to her uncovering some dark truths.I am so glad I set aside my anxieties and read this w [...]

    11. Kate on said:

      Excellent memoir of a daughter's search to know and understand her mother who was sent to America by her German Jewish parents to escape the Nazi's. A trip back to Germany in the present time allows Edith her mother to face her unsaid goodbyes and her daughter to better understand her mother and her relationship with her daughter and her past. Their reunion with ordinary Germans from her childhood was telling in their almost guilty reaction to her return. Many poignant passages made this an exce [...]

    12. Cheryl on said:

      The story itself is what drew me as I have read so much on the Holocaust, but this was a side seldom told. After the trip home 50 years later, their lives made so much more sense and really began to heal those involved. The Holocaust is not just concentration camps, the murdering of Jews is and was about the ripping apart of families that have had repercussions for generations after it was all over.

    13. MJ on said:

      This beautiful little book has so much in it to love, healing of a mother daughter relationship, seeing from another’s perspective, a daughter’s from her mother’s, the exiled from the German town’ s. It also contains a beautifully written scene of remembrance through smells that linger in places from our past.

    14. Cindy on said:

      This was a very touching account of a daughter and her mother as they attempted to learn about the life she tried to forget as a young Jew in Germany. She was sent to the U.S. At age 12, leaving many questions about her family and town. It explores the guilt of the survivors and their children after the Holocaust.

    15. Twoster on said:

      This was a beautiful moving book of a woman who "escaped" Nazi Germany in 1938. She was sent alone to Chicago at the age of 12, and was never ablt to talk of her youth. Her adult daughter travels with her back to her home town and faces her former friends and neighbors forcing all of them to look at their collective past.

    16. Barb on said:

      This book was chosen as the yearly "Community Read" for our library district. This is a true story and the author is from the Chicago area. The story provides another view of the impact of the Holocaust. It is a quick read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    17. Susan Edge-Gumbel on said:

      I have never read a book about the Holocaust from the point of view of family members of the victims or from those who escaped. This true story is illuminating and I now understand what they go through living with a survivor. Powerful insights from those who know.

    18. Rommy Lopat on said:

      This is an incredible memoir, a great book. Really one of the best books I've read in a long time. There is much to commend, but I was particularly fascinated by the behavior of the "locals" so long after WWII.

    19. Krista on said:

      very very good, true story. I really enjoyed reading and pondering the aftermath of WW2 from 3 different perspectives. Still has me pondering how WW2 changed individuals, families, communities, and the world, not just the war generation but the generations that have followed.

    20. Bee on said:

      Loved this book about a girl whose family chose the kindertransport to America for her to take her out of the Nazi's clutches. This true story of a mother-daughter journey to some healing is very moving.

    21. Janice on said:

      Disappointing - sometimes I would like to draw my own conclusions and not have so much opinion thrown at me - The author over-inserted herself. It was less her story and so much more her mother's - .

    22. Thing Two on said:

      I just came across my copy of this book and found a note my mother left for me stuck inside. "I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I didn't want it to end! <3 Mom" Pretty much sums it up for me!

    23. Julie on said:

      This book is beautifully written and so touching. I really can't find the words to describe how much I liked it and how much I learned from it. I wish there were more like it!

    24. Claire S on said:

      Sounds fascinating - especially since my German-space-of-origin is also on the Rhein!

    25. Rita Ciresi on said:

      This is one of the most outstanding Holocaust memoirs I've read. It is beautifully written, with vivid detail, and every scene has the potential to move the reader to tears.

    26. Mike Moore on said:

      I read this as part of our community reading program, and it tells a lot about our roots. Met both the author and her mom, the central characters, and they're down-to-Earth people.

    27. Sarah Drew on said:

      Absolutely loved this book. Will be recommending it to my book club.

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